Offering tangible prizes seems to be most effective with elementary school students. However, as students get older, they become a less effective motivator. The reason is that older students expect more because they know that what they’ve received in the past is no longer sufficient. They’ve become more informed and selective. Therefore, if they’re going to sell for prizes, they want them to be better quality and usually name brand.
Unfortunately this isn’t feasible because catalog companies simply can’t afford to provide these higher end prizes and still make a profit. They simply aren’t able to offer more expensive prizes based on the amount of money that’s brought in at each respective prize level. In other words, there's just not enough money to go around. Since it has to be a ‘win win’ for everyone involved, other more creative ways to incentivize these more challenging students must be found. Here are 3 reasons cash prize programs work especially well for high school fundraisers:
1. Students Choose how to Spend the Money
With a traditional prize program, students are limited to what’s offered on the flyer. They may or may not see what they really want. Yet, if they know they can win cash for selling out of their brochure they may be more apt to sell. Why, because they can control how to spend the money that they earn. And the more items they are able to sell, the faster the money grows.
2. Sponsors can apply Prize Money to the Profit
On the other hand, sponsors can choose to put the extra prize money towards each student’s fundraising goal. Many groups keep individual accounts for each student. Since the company provides the cash, it can then be applied to each student account. The cash amount earned is in addition to the profit made from selling. Each organization receives a report informing them of how much each student sold.
3. No Prizes to Deal With
Because there are no prizes, sponsors have one less thing to worry about. There are no prizes to have to take into account. Prizes can occasionally arrive damaged or broken, or simply not arrive at all.